Finding My Own Voice
Ellie B., student, Wooster College
It was the list that overwhelmed her. "My high school guidance counselor handed me this huge list of colleges,” says college student Ellie B., “and told me to start narrowing it down, picking the ones I was interested in." Ellie was completely stumped. "I had no idea where to start, no idea what kind of college I wanted to go to."
Then her father handed her the phone. “Even after just talking to Alison a couple of times, I felt like, 'Okay, I can figure this out - I can figure out where I'm going to college.' She was so full of energy. She was awesome."
With Alison at her side, Ellie learned to research the schools that interested her, reviewing student commentaries and looking beyond institutional materials. Thoughtful discussions helped her discover more about her own vision for her college experience. “Alison really knows how to ask the right questions,” says Ellie. Perhaps most important of all, Alison loved Ellie’s car - her old Jeep Grand Cherokee.
"My car - I named him 'Jimmy' - he always stood out in the parking lot when I was in high school," says Ellie, who attended a prestigious private school. "He didn't fit in with the BMWs and Audis and other expensive cars." Jimmy was always breaking down. He was, well, different. And so was Ellie. "I never felt like I quite fit in," she says. "I was proud of who I was, but I was different from my peers."
Talking with Alison helped Ellie realize that her passion for her car was just the idea she needed to power her college essay. Her Jeep was a metaphor for her own experience - and writing about it was one of Ellie’s favorite parts of the college application process. "I'm so happy with it," she says. "It was funny and clever and it had a moral - it was about character."
In the end, thanks to guidance from Forbes Educational Consulting, Ellie found more than the right college. She found her own voice - and a path toward the future.